The rising cost of education, family and work obligations, and the drudgery of taking classes covering material already known. These are reasons college credit by examination has become so popular. Yet, many students are confused about credit-by-exam. Who can take the tests? How are credits applied? Are college choices limited? Learn the answers to these questions and more by reading the FAQs below. You’ll see why credit by examination should be a part of your college plans.
Q. Is credit by exam limited to certain schools?
A. The odds are that the school you wish to attend accepts credit by exam since there are over 2,900 colleges and universities in the U.S. that accept CLEP, and over 1,000 that accept DSST, the two most popular credit by examination programs.
Q. Do I have to enroll in my school of choice before I take a credit-by-exam test?
A. No, tests can be taken at any time before or after enrollment. Students can take CLEP exams while still in high school.
Q. Can credits be applied to any major?
A. In general, yes, but….it may vary from state to state or school to school. CLEP exams cover lower level course material with 33 exams offered in five different areas of study. DSST offers both lower and upper level course exams – 38 exams from six different areas. Research your school of choice for its policies.
Q. How are credits applied? Can they be transferred to another school?
A. It depends on the school. Some schools limit the number of credits that can be earned or transferred. Rather than credit, some colleges may use the exams for placement or only apply them to electives. It is important to note that most colleges won’t allow credit if an exam is for an equivalent course you’ve already taken.
Q. Do standardized tests affect GPA?
A. For the majority of colleges and universities, CLEP and DSST scores have no effect on GPA - they are pass or fail. The exam results are scaled, and given a score from 20 (lowest) to 80 (highest). The American Council on Education (ACE) recommends credit be given for a score of 50 (what they consider an equivalent to a “C”) and above. Excelsior College is a notable exception as they do assign grades to credits based on ACE recommendations.
Q. Isn’t credit by examination only available to military personnel?
A. No, anyone can take the exams. DSST was originally created by the Department of Defense for the military, but it became available to everyone in 2006.
Q. Will I have to study for credit-by-exam?
A. Remember you are taking an exam to receive college credit – the purpose is to make sure you know as much about the subject as if you had taken the class for the semester. If you go it alone, it will take discipline and you won’t have an instructor for questions. That’s where test preparation centers like Achieve Test Prep come in.
Achieve will make sure you find the school that fits your needs, research what courses you will be able to take as credit-by-exam, and prepare you for those exams. We are unique in that we offer the prep courses from one of our over 50 campuses across the country, or via live virtual online classes (with LIVE instructors) - where you will receive the same quality instruction from the comfort and convenience of your own home. We also provide course retakes and one-on-one tutoring free of charge if you have difficulty with an exam. No one else offers that kind of individualized attention.
For more information, download our guide, Testing Out of College. To find out how you can get your degree faster, with less expense, contact Achieve Test Prep today or visit http://www.achievetestprep.com/bloggd.